The Love Guru

The Love Guru was dumb. As are most movies that Mike Meyers has anything to do with. But of course I watched it and actually laughed.

It's a story of an Indian guy (Meyers) who wants to become the best guru/motivational speaker out there, a title which is currently held by Deepak Chopra. Upon watching the movie, my husband and I assumed this Chopra guy was some made up character, when in reality he's a real guru. (Shows you how out of touch we are.) Out of curiosty we You Tube'd him and found that his motivational speaking is some of the most soothing, interesting, and peaceful stuff out there. Now, the only motivational speaker we really payed any attention to was Matt Foley, the guy who lives in the van down by the river. So we didn't have much to compare him to. After a few videos my husband says:

"That's it, I am changing religions. What's better than a religion where you don't have to do anything?"

In one video Chopra stresses the idea of meditation, and enforces you to do nothing. To just sit there and breathe. Don't think. Just do nothing. Which sounds pretty freekin' awesome to me. His entire "thing" is based on well being, mind/body/soul oneness and all that sort of guru-ish sounding stuff.

Thankfully, we don't have to switch religions or anything to become completely "one" with our bodies and take some advice from Deepak. I find that high stress levels are often a common factor in church and in our Mormon social groups. Dr. Chopra and his center for well-being takes a completely non-judgemental view on life, God, and our bodies. Therefore any religions really can benefit from his ideas.

The Chopra Center is a place in Carlsbad, CA that has among other things, yoga, motivational speaking, and other sorts of liberal-vegetarian personality type stuff. However, I am becoming more and more entranced with all these cool ideas. As a younger adult, I find it's important to start investigating who I really am, and how being Mormon is a huge part of my personality. Some of Deepak's ideas really fall in line with Christianity and Mormonism, giving into the idea that our spirits are here way before and after we had physical bodies. While I don't think he has a religion officially, he has investigated Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and more I assume.

While we can't all fly to Carlsbad, I suggest you check out Dr. Chopra on You Tube. I can't cross my legs like he can, but I am always down for doing a little bit of nothing and meditating!

A New Blog

Hey everyone.

Blogging is a lot like credit cards - you want them, and they are great to have for a while, but after you collect six or seven it's time to just stop.

Thankfully, I am just in the beginning phases of this horrendous cycle, and therefore have created a new blog. It has come to my attention that my young inexperienced girlishness has rubbed off obviously on this blog. I personally suspect it's due to my lack of expression regarding my over-girliness. I will admit, my favorite color is pink. But that's beside the point.

Ideally, Normal Mormons is a very uni-sex place for men and women to talk about being a Mormon. I don't want my posts to start (or continue in some cases) sounding and catering to the female psyche. So I've created a new blog that will allow me to vent and talk about literlly - whatever the heck I want, which will hopefully divert this blog's theme into a man and woman friendly place to be Normal.

It's just and it's called "April Showers." I'm pretty flighty, so this might change if I think of something better. Ideas would be sweet. But then again, if it was a good idea you would probably use it yourself.

I have also recently acquired the Adobe Creative Suite, which I have no clue how to use (aside from PhotoShop) so forgive me if the theme and structure of my pages starts to morph.

In the mean time, take a look at my new blog, make some comments so I look cool, and let's start swapping blog buttons.

Anti-Mormon Comment (Woo hoo!)

Dontcha just LOVE this?

Anonymous- in italics.
Me - in bold.

Read your church history-- and maybe be brave enough to venture outside of the pale, whitewashed "approved" version in your sunday school handbook.

I do. That’s the point of this blog.

The LDS church's history is ripe with sexism and racism.

Um, so is the United States of America’s history. Not just the LDS church is to blame nor is the church the only religion whoever didn’t accept gays, blacks, women – whatever. Did you know that Latter-day Saint men and women were leaders of the women’s suffrage movement, and Utah was the second place in the world where women had the right to vote?

Brigham Young spewed so much raciest hate over the pulpit that I'm surprised how easily modern day Mormons are able to block it all out.

It was a different time. A different setting. And people were completely different. Like I mentioned in a previous post, no prophet’s are perfect. They are human. And what God inspires them to do and say can even be masked by societal issues. Society is to blame for racism. Not one person. And certainly not one person from the LDS church. Even in today’s society there are church leaders (not the Prophet) who spew crap about blacks and their roles and history in the pre-existence and here on Earth. Just because one person starts teaching “doctrine” or what they believe, doesn’t mean the entire LDS church follows suit. And in my mind, these people should be reprimanded for teaching such things.

And seriously, does no one notice when the LDS Church quietly goes about changing things like, "white and delightsome" in the BOM to "PURE and delightsome"?

Do we not use both word often in conjunction in the English language anyway? Perhaps it was racist people who forced the change because they assumed “white” literally meant white people, not a whiteness of heart or pureness of heart. They mean the same thing in this case. People take it the wrong way, which is why we need a prophet so misunderstandings can be cleared up. Everyone sees things differently, and in this case many people assumed “white and delightsome” had something to do with race.

And men and women equal? Are you kidding me? Heber C. Kimball is quoted as having said, "I think no more of taking another wife than I do of buying a cow." Joseph Smith's "wives" included girls as young as 14, and women who, when he met them, were currently married to others (Hey, uh, God told me that apparently I'M supposed to be married to your wife). And while I suppose newly converted Mormon woman are no longer told they are expected to become the 14th wife of some lecherous old man twice their age (AFTER the journey to Utah, mind you) they still certainly are not treated as men's equals. They are expected to be wives and mothers, end of story-- no real leadership potential, and no real value outside of those two relationships.

Your idea of a woman is skewed, not ours. Like I mentioned before… different time and different place. The Mormon people were a few of the first to accept women as equals. It wasn’t the Mormon church as a whole who decided women weren’t equal – it was society. It’s individual people who have are sexist, racist, and are bigots – not the Mormon church. In today’s society the idea of men and women being equal is becoming so much more skewed. Women assume that being LIKE men is being EQUAL to men, which is not the case. Women and men are different. Each with different roles, different responsibilities, different needs. Just because it is a woman’s divine privilege to have and rear children and it is a man’s right to work and provide for his family doesn’t make either party better or worse. It also doesn’t mean that men and women have to fulfill these roles or abide by the traditional gender "rules". It just means that God made us different for a reason, and gender is a vital part of who we are.

The Mormon Chruch changes it's tune when it becomes politically or financially expedient to do so. It's members pull their blinders tighter and excuse everything said before as ok because, well, I'm sure there's some kind of reason, right? What's that famous Mormon catch all-- we don't understand everything now, but I'm sure God has a plan. (Huh, I wonder if that gives the rest of us hope for your current raging homophobia at some point. That would certainly be nice.)

It’s not the church who changes their tune when it’s politically or financially expedient to do so. We fully believe that God has living prophets today to convey his messages to his people. In the Bible there were many prophets who did this for God’s people. God chooses someone to relay his messages. I can’t speak for God, but I personally believe that He shows us what he wants to show us in due time. That may sounds nuts to non-Christians, but it makes perfect sense to me. Would you give your 5 year old child a talk about sex? No. They aren’t ready and are too young to understand. We are God’s children and we don’t know all that we think we do. Yes, right now we fully believe that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible says so and God says so through the Prophet. Maybe in 10, 20, 100 years they will all look back at us and say “Ha! I can’t believe those people actually thought being gay was BAD!” Much like we do now about inequality with blacks and women. The Bible talks about polygamy, and now we think it’s nuts. It can all get damn confusing. Who says everything must be the same century in and century out? Change is inevitable, here and in the afterlife.


That was just to get your attention. Now follow me! Scroll down to where it says "Followers" and click "Follow."

Diet Coke and Ho Ho's

You know it. I know it. We all know that Diet Coke is a direct blessing from God. Well, it feels like it. Maybe in the same way crack feels to druggies. Or coffee feels to my mother. When the carbonation tickles my nose and the ice cold sweetness slips down my throat, I feel a little closer to Heaven. Personally, I also feel a little closer to Heaven when I sink my teeth into a choclatey devilish cake or a McDonald's cheeseburger, which is another one of my cravings. So what constitutes an addiction? By my sheer description of love for these foods and drinks, you might conclude that I have a problem. So what's the deal?

The Word of Wisdom warns us against consuming "hot drinks," which as we all know are considered coffee and tea. This doesn't mean that a nice frappucino or iced tea is off the hook. Joseph Smith stated:

I understand that some of the people are excusing themselves in using tea and coffee, because the Lord only said "hot drinks" in the revelation of the Word of Wisdom .... Tea and coffee ... are what the Lord meant when He said "hot drinks."

Okay, so we all know that coffee and tea are a no-no. Why? Well, we aren't sure. Is it because of the caffeine content? Perhaps. But then why are we allowed to consume other beverages with caffeine? Why didn't Heavenly Father inspire Joseph to say "nix the caffeine." Why "hot drinks?" Here's what the church said about it:

With reference to cola drinks, the Church has never officially taken a position on this matter, but the leaders of the Church have advised, and we do now specifically advise, against the use of any drink containing harmful habit-forming drugs under circumstances that would result in acquiring the habit. Any beverage that contains ingredients harmful to the body should be avoided.[37]

I never understood the whole "don't drink coffee or tea, but go ahead and drown your sorrows in carbonated aspartamey splendor." Granted, I bet there's something in coffee and tea that we don't know about. Some radical cancer-causing agent that no one knows about, and unknowingly everyone downs like it's going out of style. Maybe one day the coffee beans and tea leaves in South America will develop some sort of lethal poison that we're unaware of, and *POOF* one sip of coffee or tea will kill everyone but the Mormons. Or at least the Word of Wisdom abiding ones.

So how do we KNOW for SURE that coffee and tea are the "hot drinks" we aren't supposed to partake of? The Prophet. Duh. What's the point of a modern day prophet if they don't tell us what the heck God is talking about?

But the Prophet hasn't ever flat out told us not to drink Coke. Or Diet Coke for that matter. He's never flat out said, "Don't eat at McDonald's because you're going to turn into a solid mass of cholesterol." He's never said, "Stop eating high fructose corn syrup and partially hygrogenated soybean oil" which are both found in nearly every processed food we eat. He's never told us to stop eating Ding Dong's, french fries, ice cream, cake, etc... Now, our prophets have always ADVISED against putting those crappy things in our bodies. But no one was ever Joseph Smith-esque, who just flat out put a stop to the whole "smoking, alcohol, coffee, tea" thing. No prophet has ever said, "STOP. Just STOP."

Some people might be saying, "Well, what about the people who aren't addicted to bad food and soda? The people who just like a little taste every now and then. Why ruin it for them?" I'm sure the people who liked to drink the occasional glass of wine thought that too.

Where's the firm resolve? Is God giving us a little leighweigh, or is the Prophet human? He knows that putting a ban on McDonald's and Diet Coke like coffee and tea won't go over well with the general public within the church. Maybe this is like the Civil Rights movement. All along the Prophet knew that men and women should be treated equally. The Prophet is a man, born and raised in society and bearing the influnces of man. Blacks holding the Priesthood didn't happen until the nation came to a consensus on equality. It was only then that the church officially finally were able to accept blacks as equals.

So we know what's bad for us. Yet we continue to consume it. Deep down we all know that comsuming processed foods, fast food, soda pop, etc... isn't the right thing to do. How do we afford fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains when an entire BOX of Ho Ho's are only $1? How do you feed a family of 37 healthy food if it's cheaper and faster to get fast food at McDonald's?

Well I don't know. I wish I did. All I know is that there's a reason for everything. (Yeah, one of those people.) We all just need to use common sense, avoid impuse buys, and think about what we're shoving into our mouths and the mouths of our children. Food and caffeine is addictive. And anything addictive is bad. (Note: Porn included.)

Maybe a new revelation is on its way? It's been good for us so far!

A 14-year selective study conducted by UCLA epidemiologist James E. Enstrom tracked the health of 10,000 moderately active LDS people in California and ended in 1987. Of these non-smoking, monogamous non-drinkers, Enstrom concluded from the study "that LDS Church members who follow religious mandates barring smoking and drinking have one of the lowest death rates from cancer and cardiovascular diseases—about half that of the general population. ... Moreover, the healthiest LDS Church members enjoy a life expectancy eight to eleven years longer than that of the general white population in the United States." The standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for whites in the general population is defined as 100. For males in the study, the SMRs "are 47 for all cancers, 52 for cardiovascular diseases, and 47 for all causes; the SMRs for females are 72 for all cancers, 64 for cardiovascular diseases, and 66 for all causes." For LDS high priests who never smoked cigarettes, exercised, and had proper sleep, the mortality rate was less. The results were largely duplicated in a separate study of an LDS-like subgroup of white non-smoking churchgoers in Alameda, California.[38]

Follow Me!

When you are in your "dashboard" there is a place below all your blogs where you can add blogs you are following. Add me and I'll add you!

Doing the Right Thing

Today I went to the DMV to register my new car. Yes, I bought it despite my previous post on Spending Money. If you had read that post, you'd agree that my purchase was justified. All that aside, I got a killer deal on a 2006 Chevy Malibu. It's nice - not as big as an Impala, not as small as a Cobalt - and will be great for when we have a family. It's charcoal gray, and very sexy. If a car can be a 4 door sedan and still be sexy, this is it. *drool*

Anyway, I went to the DMV and got it all registered. 65 bucks and change. I got $100 out of the ATM and gave the woman 60 bucks, thinking it was $80. She gave me change for $70. I quickly corrected her saying the ATM only gives 20's, so it MUST have been 80 and she gave me the extra money. As I walked to the car, I realized I had an extra $20 in my hand. Without a second thought I turned around and went back in to correct my mistake, and gave the 20 back.

It wasn't until I was out in my car again that I realized I would NOT have done that around 5 years ago. I would have dimissed it as good fortune and gone shopping. What made me turn around so fast? Impulse? Habit? The theory that good fortune is returned three fold for doing something honest and good? I don't know. Does this mean I will get $60 in return? Does blogging about my good deed take it away?

Well, I don't know about all that. I guess since I was baptized 4 years ago, lots of things have changed. Would we still do the right things if we didn't assume we would get blessings for doing so? Does expecting something in return completely erase the good deed in itself?

What about tithing? We all have a testimony of tithing the the good things it brings to our lives. Would we have that same testimony if nothing happened and you just gave your money to a good cause? Is the good feeling you get a good enough reward?

I don't know, maybe you all have an opinion?